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April 20, 2008
Jennings leads JBC Team back from 21 point deficit
Some of the best high school talent in the world was on display in Saturday night's Jordan Brand Classic, and as one would expect, it was manifested in alley-oops and crossovers.
Perhaps the greatest testament to the level of talent, though, was the Blue team's ability to dig out of a 21-point hole before many even noticed that they were getting blown out.
Led by flamboyant Arizona-bound guard Brandon Jennings, the Blue team came back from being down 44-24 to score a 124-114 victory in the seventh annual Classic.
Tyreke Evans, a new Memphis commit and the most outstanding player on the White team, scored almost at will early on, and his fast break lay-up gave White an 18-9 lead with 15:41 to go in the first. Wake Forest-bound forward Al-Farouq Aminu hit a three shortly thereafter to push the White's lead to double digits at 25-14.
Louisville-bound big man Samardo Samuels eventually gave White a 45-24 advantage with a pair of free throws at the 7:38 mark. From then on, however, Jennings and the rest of the Blue team -- who had routed the White team in the previous day's scrimmage - started to shine.
Blue took just 5:37 to go on a breathtaking 25-7 run, led by nine points from Tennessee-bound wing Scotty Hopson.
North Carolina signee Ed Davis scored five points in the final two minutes of the half to help White go into the break up 60-53, but Blue had ripped all momentum from the home team.
UCLA-bound point guard Malcolm Lee scored on a fast break for Blue to open the second, then JaMychal Green, headed to Alabama, converted a three-point play to cut the White lead to two.
Evans and Devin Ebanks scored seven points to push the White lead back to seven at 69-62. Blue, however, then tore off on a 26-6 run to grab a lead that it would never relinquish.
A three-pointer by local product Kemba Walker trimmed the Blue lead to six at 98-92, but Blue answered with an 18-8 spurt to shut the door on any White comeback hopes.
Jennings, who sported a flat top haircut that leaned to the right, regularly dazzled the crowd with his phenomenal ball handling and passing skills. His performance - 10 points, 14 assists - earned him MVP honors for the Blue team.
Hopson finished with 21 for Blue, and Demar DeRozan - committed to USC - scored 17 for the visitors.
Evans, who scored 23 points, took home the MVP for White, and Devin Ebanks - previous Indiana commit who now stands uncommitted following the school's firing of coach Kelvin Sampson - added 20. Samuels chipped in 16 as well for White.